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  1. I just had my floors redone and paid a lot of money to do it, it was all done prior to my moving into the house. I had new tile, hardwood and white baseboards installed. For the most part I'm happy with the work done, except for the baseboards. They certainly don't look new, they're scuffed, rough in many places, almost none of the nail holes were covered. There are many places that have color on them, like black or red scuff marks that won't come off. In some places they look terrific, just seemless but in other places the pieces that joing together are very obvious and ugly. I also have a transition on the floor that's already worn through, how I don't know since it's brand new. I've gone back and forth with the company who did the installation, they told me "well you have to paint them, you should have had a painter here to do it after we installed them". This was the first I heard of any of this, I thought I was getting new baseboards and I guess they're only primed and not painted, they don't do that service and tough luck for me. When they sold me them, they said they forgot to mention that, how does that happen? They came back once to cover up the nail holes, but didn't cover up most of them. When I asked they said they don't really have to cover up the nail holes, that's something for the painter to do and aren't going to cover them all up. And of course now I'm all moved in and now it's going to a chore to do all of this. There's also some touch up work on the tile that needs to be done, again they keep saying they're really busy with new jobs and don't have time. They keep saying they'll put me on the schedule, etc. but I really feel like I'm being jerked around here. Also they had to remove 2 sets of closet doors to install the floors and have yet to put them back. One is over tile and they said they're not allowed to drill into the tile to put the track down because they might break the tile. The other set I tried putting in myself, I'm not sure if the people who removed it broke the hardware or are responsible for the door being split at the bottom or what but I can't get them to go back into place. When I asked about having someone come out to take care of the doors they said they really don't have time to do anything like that but they'll make an exception and have been basically putting me off for over a month now. I keep calling, emailing and they said we're busy, etc. I'm strongly considering disputing a portion of the services I paid for. My concern though is whether I would stand a chance of winning and how? I've also read that in cases of remodeling even if you win your dispute the companies tend to sue homeowners over the money and that's the last thing I need. I'm also not sure what amount I should really dispute, I know the cost of the baseboards, but what portion of that should I dispute?, also i don't know the costs of having the doors fixed/installed. I'm quickly approaching 2 months since this was done and don't want to lose an opportunity to dispute it. I've disputed purchases before, never anything this big, and have typically lost. Any recommendations?
  2. We've been house hunting for several weeks now, I got my mortgage pre-approval already. I didn't expect to find the right house yet, but on a whim I had a realtor show me a house today that just hit the market. In the time we've been looking we've also seen houses get snatched up so I'm ready to make an offer. So the realtor told me we need to put a time frame in the contract as to when financing will be secured. I believe this is a mortgage 'commitment letter', I've also been advised to have ready my 1% earnest money deposit. So my question is do I hold off making the offer until I get the ball rolling Monday with getting a mortgage commitment letter from a bank? I'm also told that process can take a while and I know my earnest money is at risk if I can't secure financing within the time frame. I'm also worried because the property had many showings already and I don't want to miss out again by letting somebody beat me to the punch. What is the best thing to do?
  3. I'm potentially a first time home buyer in FL, I just found out about a house on the market that is a REO. It's priced within my budget, the size is decent too and it's in a nice area, though I'm thinking I should offer 20% less initially. I believe the property has been vacant for a few months at least. I have a few months left on my current lease too. I'm setting up an appointment with a realtor to check it out, from the pictures, it looks like there's a broken window but not much else that I can see that is wrong. So I figure I might need up to 20% of the price for potential repairs. It's a three bedroom but as a note it says they enclosed the patio into a fourth bedroom. I searched online and it appears no permit was pulled to enclose it, so I figure there's a chance it will cost me money to bring it up to code and possibly take a lot of time or it may have to be torn down completely. Additionally several years ago there was a permit for sinkhole repair, it doesn't seem to hurt the property values too much for this house or the neighborhood but I'm concerned with insurability and whether I need some type of Engineer to verify there's no longer a problem. I probably would put down 5-10%, at least based on the price right now. Any recommendations about how to approach this or run? If I can keep the price close to what it's listed for now it would really behoove me to buy and not continue to rent. Thanks.
  4. I've been renting for a while and am seriously considering buying a house. Tonight I found a property that looks like a good deal, but a bit too pricey for me. I decided to dig deeper and I found out the owner's had a judgement against them recently and it's up for public auction soon next year, it appears they're going through a domestic situation like a divorce. I immediately thought this might be a great opportunity to get a short sale and get a great deal. The amount of the judgement against them is however in my price range, and the idea that I could buy it for less than that makes me think this could be a great deal for me. I contacted a relator, but they said it's not a short sale because the property isn't underwater and the seller will easily get what they're asking for it. I'm not an expert here but if this isn't a short sale then what is? Also, I think I found the owner on facebook. I'm tempted to message them directly to gauge how desperate they are to sell or is that a bad idea and I should just go the traditional route of a relator? It appears it's had or has various liens against it, also one from the IRS. Are these red flags? Thanks.
  5. I'm married and currently claim 3 allowances, no children and my wife doesn't work. We filed married and take the standard deduction and don't itemize, generally I owe close to 0 when I file my taxes. My wife is now going to be taking a part-time job, low-pay. At first I thought I would simply reduce my allowances to 2, and she would claim 0 allowances on her new w4. But as I go through the two-earners worksheet on the w4, it looks like I will now have to claim 0 allowances and possibly withold an additional amount. Zero allowances means a huge increase in my taxes withend each paycheck, I don't think I'm doing this right. Anyone can offer some tips?
  6. I wrote a check for my rent, $1,000 but it posted to my account for only $10! I was told by my bank this is an encoding error and to write a check for the remaining amount to the payee. I asked the bank to correct it but was told they can't? Apparently if it cleared for more than I wrote they could correct it. I am nervous if I write a check for the remaining amount that either the payee's bank will eventually initiate a correction to my account or my bank will initiate a correction during a reconciliation/review process and then I end up paying twice. What can I do to protect myself?
  7. Ok, I've read so much information online I feel like I'm aware of many things but I'm not applying the best practices for my own situation so I'd like some help about what to do to get on the road to success: I'm in my 30's and got a late start on retirement. I'd like to start saving for a downpayment on a house, that's my main goal, but I feel like because I got a late start that I can't forget about retirement either. I have an employer 401k match, I contribute enough to get the full match plus a little more. I've almost maxed out my roth contributions. I have an HSA with 5 figures in it that isn't in investments at all, but don't have many medical expenses with receipts left, I've reimbursed myself over the last couple years now. I have a CD for an emergency fund with probably close to a year's worth of expenses if I cut back a bit if I needed it, it's earning over 3%, and I'm constantly tempted to close it out so I can simply pay off my debt. My monthly expenses (including roth) are close to my monthly income, and I have maybe 2K of CC debt or so. I have raised my monthly expenses slowly as my income has grown despite knowing I shouldn't do that, I suppose I'm frustrated that I'm getting older and still renting and haven't even begun to save for a downpayment on a home so pscychologically it's difficult for me to find a place to cut back in my lifestyle. Do I simply worry about cutting expenses and leave everything else retirement-wise on track? Just confused about how to proceed.
  8. If I receive an offer I'll ask the new employer's legal team to review my current non-compete, besides that can I protect myself further? It seems like an awful position to be in when I want to be excited about the prospect of a new job. In light of all this, if and when I do resign, do I respectfuly decline to share my new employer's name during my exit interview (I shouldn't be under a legal obligation to reveal it) or does that make me more likely to be a target for litigation if I'm unwilling to share this information?
  9. I'm currently employed and was approached by a recruiter for a new job, but after looking over my current employer's non-compete agreement I'm not really sure if it applies or not and that's what scares me. The agreement basically says I won't work for a direct/indirect competitor, anywhere for a certain period of time (long). Right now I'm a software developer for software that specializes in a couple key areas, say X, Y, and Z. Mostly on one OS, but can apply to other OS's. New job is mostly embedded software development, so we're talking about it only running in their specialized equipment, the company is industrial/manufacturing so it's completely different from current employer which is a software shop. For the new job its' with industrial/manufacturing equipment, so there's onboard software, which analyzes the manufactured product and it does the analysis using 'some' of the concepts from the key areas from X, Y, Z. My gut reaction is, "My current software comparny's stuff wouldn't run in the new company's specialized equipment, so no way they're a competitor!"............but I could see how some of our products, maybe could be used in the new company's equipment, at least some aspects of it, possibly. I don't know enough about the equipment, and probably wouldn't know until I started working there. My current company is very litigious, and I can't very well ask them if they think they're a direct competitor with the other company. Right now my job title is "developer", but the new job title is "developer - X", where X is one of the key areas my current company specializes in. So my fear is the current employer would perceive the new job title as me working for a direct competitor. Even if a lawyer could tell me there's no way the current employer could win if they sued me, I really don't want to go down that road and have to endure the process.
  10. It's been cold here the last month or two, so we've been using our heater pretty frequently (central a/c). Early this morning the smoke alarm went off and woke us up, I could smell the smoke (smelled like an electrical fire to me, but I'm not an expert) but didn't see any. We aired it out and shut the a/c off for now. Usually the burning smell can happen when the heater hasn't been used in a long time, I know that is very common. But in this case for example, we had our heater cycling on/off for the last 24 hours or so because it's been so cold to maintain the temperature and we've used it frequenly over the last several weeks so I find it hard to believe there's some 'extra' dust that only got burned off on the unit this morning. I let my landlord know, do I need an electrician or an hvac specialist? Any theories on what might be wrong?
  11. I have been claiming 4 exemptions on my taxes, but due to a child no longer being a dependent of mine that will have to drop to 3 when the new year starts. Which means more taxes will be witheld from my pay. I thought I could just bump up my 401k contributions, but I was surprised by how much I'd have to bump it up by to compensate for the loss of the exemption. What do other people do in this scenario?
  12. I don't know if my family member would really want me to go into details online. I more or less just want to know if we need to hire an attorney, she had one before but he did a terrible job and he's no longer practicing in family law. Or am I just freaking out over a notice that doesn't mean much until something is filed?
  13. No clue, it's like he dropped off the face of the earth. So that's why we were so surpised to see any activity and also worried.
  14. I have a question for a close family member, she has been through a bitter divorce, custody battle over kids with her ex, she won and the kids have been living with her. It all got settled a year ago, and she's the primary residential parent. But today, we just noticed on the court docket, "Notice Appearance of Counsel as to Ex-Husband", it doens't list a new lawyer for the ex, does this mean his counsel is getting ready to file something in court? It's exactly one year ago to the date that everything was done in court, so I was hoping maybe this is something the court filed automatically?
  15. The other night in my condo I heard dripping water from my air handler closet, there was a big pool of water under it. So I looked online and the most common cause is a clogged drain pipe. So I went outside and cleaned the sludge (mold, algae, etc.) out of the pipe and saw the water flow through. I also poured bleach down the trap inside to clean it out. Though after all that it still seems to be leaking inside. Besides the one drainage pipe, there's another pipe next to it on the air handler, that has an overflow sensor on the end of it. When I took the sensor off I could see the pipe had water in it. I have an A/C tech coming out Friday, but was thinking there has to be something else I can try? I don't know anything about air handlers, and looked most of the stuff up online, it said blockages are the most common cause so I was surpised that when I cleared it that it didn't fix it. Can anyone help?

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